Award-Winning Artist is named new Composer-in-Residence

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Patrice Rushen, an award winning musician will serve as the second Composer-in-Residence at Key to Change for the 2021-2022 academic year. Patrice will compose and teach original solo and chamber music works for both violin and viola string students of all musical levels that they will perform in a virtual concert in the spring 2022. Additionally, select students will perform Rushen’s works and be featured on Unmute The Voices on Classical King FM 98.1. 

Rushen is one of the most sought after artists in the music industry. She is a classically trained pianist who originally found success in the 70’s and 80’s with her signature fusion of jazz, pop and R&B. During this era, she composed and recorded the hit song, “Forget Me Nots,” which has been frequently covered and sampled by other artists. She is a four-time, Grammy nominee who has composed scores for movies and television. She has been the first female musical director for many of the entertainment industry’s top award shows, which include the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the NAACP Image Awards and HBO’s “Comic Relief V.” 

“We are thrilled that Patrice Rushen is joining our string studio as our second Composer-in-Residence. I grew up listening to her and remember watching her on Soul Train and dancing to her songs as a child. Being able to have a legendary musician work with our students feels like it’s come full circle,” said Dr. Quinton Morris, Executive Director and Founder of Key to Change.

Considered one of the world’s top jazz pianists, she has performed with many artists. Among them such esteemed names as Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Nancy Wilson, Ndugu Chancler, Carlos Santana, Christian McBride and Lee Ritenour. She is a record producer and an award-winning composer of symphonic music, some of which was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Rushen is the ”Ambassador of Artistry In Education” at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and is the Chair of the Popular Music Program at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. 

Rushen also spends time working with the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, NARAS “Grammy in the Schools” program and other organizations dedicated to establishing music education and mentorship programs for underprivileged youth. 

Patrice Rushen’s Composer-in-Residence post is generously sponsored by Classical King FM 98.1.

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